Among the most remarkable of Mughal paintings and calligraphies are those commissioned by the Emperors Jahangir (r. 1605-27) and Shah Jahan (r. 1627-58) for display in lavish imperial albums. A window into the world-views of the emperors, these exquisite images depict the emperors, the imperial family in relaxed private settings, Sufi saints and mystics, allies and courtiers, and natural history subjects. Many folios are full-page paintings with superb figural borders, other are collages of European, Persian, and Mughal works collected by the emperors. Produced by the atelier’s leading artists, they reveal the conceptual and artistic sophistication of the arts of the book at its apex in the early seventeenth century.
The exhibition brings together 82 masterpieces–many not previously exhibited in the United States–from the renowned collection of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
Muraqqa’: Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin is organized and circulated by Art Services International in Alexandria, Virginia. Support for the national tour and catalog has been provided by The Annenberg Foundation; Culture Ireland; The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery has received support for this exhibition from the Embassy of India to the United States. His Excellency Michael Collins, ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America, is honorary patron of the exhibition.